Critical Factor for Creating Trust as a Leader and Organization: DWYSYWD–Case Study ACE Hardware

Quote – ” Helpful is our business–Caring is our commitment” . Then prove it in every interaction with your customers because your integrity and trust are on the line.” MW Hardwick 
Recently, I had an interaction with a hardware store. Specifically, ACE Hardware over a warranty problem and found myself in a “moment of truth” situation for executing their corporate motto of  ” Helpful is our Business – Caring is our Commitment.” The core issue was a simple one:  would they do what is necessary to create what they promise excellence in customer service.  After many phone calls to the store and many more to corporate headquarters, (two unanswered e-mails and a letter to CEO of ACE) and hours of talking to the manufacture who but up bureaucratic hurdle after hurdle so as to not have to meet their promise to honor the warranty. Needless to say my frustration boiled over. I was caught in a trap of trying to solve their internal requirements and non-responsiveness to my situation.  This incident which is still unresolved after nine days demonstrates to me the increasing frequency of people saying they will do something by a certain time, but failing to actually follow through and do it. I am sure you have had similar problems with one of your recent buying experiences. Dealing with a business that promises to “help and care” and then does neither breaks trust and sends buyers to their competitors. I will never shop at ACE again and I recommend they change their motto to: “We don’t care, so don’t ask”.  

This experience took me back to one of the key factors I teach in a our seminars and to business students–How do you to instill trust in others.  The simple and customer friendly answer is be dependable and do what you say you will do… When you say you are going to do something–do it to the best of your ability. Give the task 100%. If you run into problems or find yourself in a bind don’t run and hide or stay stuck–Ask for help. In other words in a very tangible and responsive way DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO. PERIOD.The short handed “maxim” which is easy to remember is –DWYSYWD.

When you let others know your word can be counted you are making a personal commitment of time and effort to “walk the talk”. This is a powerful and credible way to build long and trusting relationships. The principle establishes the credibility that is needed for you to be experienced as a leader who everyday earns on a person to person level their trust and commitment to focus on the activities that are crucial to accomplishing goals of the organization. For me the reality of acting on your commitment is the critical factor of this principle not the words you speak. A credible leader learns how not to just communicate shared values and visions but actually can be trusted to do what they say they will do. This forms a bond of  trust that creates strong teams and inspires people not to work just in their own best interest but to acknowledge nothing gets done without the support and trust of their colleagues. 

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